Thursday, 20 September 2012

NUI Galway’s LLM in Public Law programme will host a conference on the forthcoming children’s constitutional referendum. The conference will take place on Friday, 21 September from 9.45am to 2pm at the Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. The second annual conference of the LLM in Public law will critically consider the Children’s Constitutional Referendum, which will be held on Saturday, 10 November. The referendum on the rights of the child is considered to be one of the most significant referendums in the history of the State. Marie McGonagle, Director of the LLM in Public Law at NUI Galway, said: “The choice of topic for our conference is particularly apt and timely. We are especially fortunate to have two of the country’s leading experts speaking, along with members of the NUI Galway academic staff who will present interesting perspectives based on their doctoral research.” Chairing the conference is former Supreme Court Judge Catherine McGuinness, with Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection and leading expert on child law, delivering the keynote address. Other speakers at the seminar will include: Dr Anne Egan, Family Law Lecturer at NUI Galway; Fergal Landy, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway; and Connie Healy, solicitor and child law expert. Throughout the conference, the speakers will be reflecting upon the wording of the referendum. NUI Galway also holds the holds the UNESCO Chair in Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement led by Professor Pat Dolan. More information is available at http://childandfamilyresearch.ie/unesco-programme. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Stem cell scientists have capitalised on the electrical properties of a widely used nanomaterial to develop cells which may allow the regeneration of cardiac cells. The breakthrough has been led by a team of scientists at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Ireland. Once damaged by heart attack, cardiac muscle has very little capacity for self-repair and at present there are no clinical treatments available to repair damaged cardiac muscle tissue.  Over the last 10 years, there has been tremendous interest in developing a cell-based therapy to address this problem. Since the use of a patient’s own heart cells is not a viable clinical option, many researchers are working to try to find an alternative source of cells that could be used for cardiac tissue repair.  REMEDI researchers Dr Valerie Barron and Dr Mary Murphy have brought together a multi-disciplinary team of Irish materials scientists, physicists and biologists from REMEDI at National University of Ireland Galway and Trinity College Dublin to address this problem. The researchers recognised that carbon nanotubes, a widely used nanoparticle, is reactive to electrical stimulation. They then used these nanomaterials to create cells with the characteristics of cardiac progenitors, a special type of cell found in the heart, from adult stem cells. “The electrical properties of the nanomaterial triggered a response in the mesenchymal (adult) stem cells, which we sourced from human bone marrow. In effect, they became electrified, which made them morph into more cardiac-like cells”, explains Valerie Barron of REMEDI at National University of Ireland Galway. “This is a totally new approach and provides a ready-source of tailored cells, which have the potential to be used as a new clinical therapy. Excitingly, this symbiotic strategy lays the foundation stone for other electroactive tissue repair applications, and can be readily exploited for other clinically challenging areas such as in the brain and the spinal cord.” This work has recently been published in two leading scientific journals, Biomaterials and Macromolecular Bioscience, and was carried out in collaboration with Professor Werner Blau, Investigator in CRANN and the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). “It is great to see two decades of our pioneering nanocarbon research here at TCD come to fruition in a way that addresses a major global health problem. Hopefully many people around the world will ultimately benefit from it. Some of our carbon nanotube research has been patented by TCD and is being licensed to international companies in material science, electronics and health care,” said Professor Blau. Nanoweek 2012 is currently underway, running 14-21 September. It offers an opportune time to reflect on the type of healthcare solutions that nanomaterials can offer. Ireland is a world leader in nanoscience research, ranked 6th globally. -ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

One of Ireland’s leading experts on child and family issues has welcomed the announcement of a date for the Children’s Rights Referendum, calling it a ‘historical and internationally significant step’. Based at NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan holds the UNESCO Chair in Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. “There is growing recognition internationally of children as independent rights holders. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that the State take further measures to incorporate children’s rights into the Irish constitution. Opening up debate around this issue, and asking the public to ultimately make the decision on where we place our children within our constitution, is vital”, said the Professor. A former social worker, he welcomed the commitment by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD to hold a referendum on the Rights of the Child in Ireland: “I hope that all parties approach the campaign in an open and honest way, making arguments based on evidence, and always with the best interests of children as the primary motivating concern.” Professor Dolan said: “The rights and well-being of children, parents and society are inextricably linked and complementary. What is good for children is good for their parents and ultimately to the benefit of civic society. This could be a defining moment for children and young people in Ireland. And it needs to be – the best legacy that we can leave the next generation is a commitment that their rights are protected and enhanced, that they have some certainty in an increasingly uncertain world.” As a member of the UNESCO International education network, Professor Dolan was co-author on a report on the proposed referendum earlier this year called, ‘Children’s Rights and the Family’.  The document pointed out that “incorporating a stronger commitment to children’s rights in the constitution would build a stronger culture of children’s rights in Irish society and is in keeping with the state’s international obligations”. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, will officially open the Irish segment of European Researchers Night, it was announced today. The event takes place on Friday, 28 September, across 800 venues in 320 cities. In Ireland, festivities take place in Galway and Cork, through a celebration called Sea2Sky, organised by NUI Galway. Celebrating the natural physical world from the marine, through the atmosphere to space, the free, family event will see hundreds of researchers share their work with the public. Thousands are expected to visit the Promenade Galway on the night, to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know the researchers. Sea2Sky is organised by NUI Galway, with huge support from partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. While school visits will take place throughout the day, according to the programme published today, at 3pm Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will officially open the evening event to coincide with events starting right across Europe. Chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, a lecturer in physics, says: “We are thrilled to have Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn officially opening this European-wide event. It is an exciting and important time to celebrate Ireland’s reputation and involvement in research, and our significant track record in leading European science projects.” This year, Sea2Sky is linking up with the Galway Science Forum’s exhibition about the work of CERN – Accelerating Science. This exhibition, sponsored by Boston Scientific in partnership with NUI Galway, will show how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can help us understand fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Last year, some 10,000 people came to the Sea2Sky event, and the plan is for an even bigger event this year, with highlights including the CERN exhibit, 3D tours of the universe and tours of the aquarium. The Galway Bay Hotel, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria will be the three venues in Salthill Galway, with events also taking place in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. As part of the European Researchers Night 2012 organisers of the Sea2Sky event are asking all young photographers to submit photographs to the free competition entitled ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’. Open to students of all ages across Irish primary and post-primary schools, the aim is to encourage talented young photographers to capture unique moments incorporating Marine, Atmosphere and Astronomy. To view the full programme, or for more information, visit www.sea2sky.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The latest developments in technologies for measuring and analysing cells will be discussed at NUI Galway in November at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society. Flow cytometry is routinely used in scientific research and by healthcare practitioners, for example, in diagnosing blood cancers. The conference, now in its eighth year, is organised by the Irish Cytometry Society and is coming to Galway for the first time. As in previous years, the meeting will serve as a joint meeting for flow cytometry, high content screening, microscopy and related technologies. The two day event takes place from 6-7 November, The conference is being organised by the Irish Cytometry Committee, and the local NUI Galway organisers are Dr Siobhan Gaughan of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Dr Shirley Hanley National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). A flow cytometry core facility was recently established in the NCBES. The Facility Director, Professor Rhodri Ceredig and the Facility Senior Technical Officer, Dr Shirley Hanley are excited as the prospective of the upcoming conference. Speaking about the conference Dr Hanley said: “With the recent opening of our state of the art facilities here on campus, we are particularly pleased to host this event and engage with our colleagues from around the world.  Galway is a vibrant hub for academic, research and bioengineering based activities and we look forward to this conference.” The conference will be split into four sessions based around the following themes: stem cell biology; immunology and clinical cytometry; cell cycle and cell proliferation studies and advanced applications including marine, food, micro-particle and mass cytometry.  A line-up of international and Irish-based keynote speakers have been assembled as well as oral and poster presentations from selected clinical and life science researchers. Following the conference, there will be two one-day Flocyte flow cytometry training courses, Nov 8-9, at NUI Galway. For full details, registration and abstract submission visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=158  -ends-

Monday, 17 September 2012

Dr Tom Fogarty, one of the most influential cardiovascular surgeons in the US and a renowned inventor and entrepreneur, will speak at NUI Galway on Friday, 21 September. Dr Fogarty will address an audience of academics, clinicians and industry personal representatives in a ‘Meet the Expert’ session hosted by BioInnovate Ireland. Launched last year, BioInnovate Ireland is a specialist training and collaboration programme in medical device innovation, modelled on a prestigous Stanford University programme. It is envisaged that BioInnovate will act as a catalyst for enhancing innovation in medical device development within Ireland, and Friday’s event is an opportunity to hear from one of the biggest names in this space. NUI Galway’s Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director of BioInnovate Ireland, commented: “Having someone of the calibre of Tom Fogarty take an interest in Ireland is a testament to the strength and future potential of med-tech innovation here.” During the past forty years, Dr Fogarty has been a founder, chairman or board member of over 30 business and research companies. He founded the Fogarty Institute for Innovation in 2007, a non-profit organisation which provides support for entrepreneurial innovators working on promising new medical therapies. Over the years he has acquired 135 surgical patents, including the ‘industry standard’ Fogarty Balloon Catheter and the widely used Aneurx Stent Graft that replaces open surgery aortic aneurysm. He is the recipient of countless awards and honours, including the Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons and the 2000 Lemelson-MIT prize for Invention and Innovation. Dr Fogarty was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in December 2001 The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme is delivered by a consortium of four Higher Education Institutions which include NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Dublin City University and University College Cork. This initiative has received funding and support from Enterprise Ireland and several key medical device players including: Medtronic, Creganna-Tactx Medical, Lake Region Medical, Boston Scientific and SteriPack. The talk begins at 3.30pm, followed by a discussion and a questions and answers session. Interested parties should contact BioInnovate Ireland (info@bioinnovate.ie) to register. -ends-

Monday, 17 September 2012

In an exciting new development for the West plans have been unveiled to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in her home town of Ballina. The Centre is to be established at Mary Robinson’s birthplace in Victoria House, on the banks of the River Moy, and will include both a Visitor Centre and an academic research centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. This new initiative came about following an approach by Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council to the Robinson family, supported by local business people, with the intention of acknowledging the many national and international achievements of the former President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mary Robinson warmly supported the proposal and generously offered to make her complete archive available to the Centre. The proposed Visitor Centre, which is set to open to the public by the end of 2014, will provide a unique cultural tourism resource for Mayo as visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, including her early roots in Ballina. The project will involve the refurbishment of Victoria House, a protected 19th century Georgian house, together with the construction of an Annex to the house. Parts of the house will be recreated to its original condition at the time of Mary Robinson’s birth in 1944. The property at Victoria House, which has been in the Bourke Family for generations, is being made available to the Centre by the owner, Mary’s brother Adrian Bourke, and will be leased in perpetuity. The new development will also include a research and educational study centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, and as academic partner to the project, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to Ballina to engage with the archive. NUI Galway is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of Human Rights and Gender research, and offers undergraduate degrees and Masters programmes in the area. The University will also advise on the cataloguing and making available of the extensive archive which is valued at over €2.5 million. “The people of Mayo and the West have taught me over the years the true meaning and spirit of Meitheal, and have always been hugely supportive of my journey,” said Mary Robinson. “So I am delighted to respond to this initiative to ensure that my archive benefits Ballina and future generations.” Mary Robinson’s archive is a vast collection illuminating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most distinguished public figures. The archive includes a library of books, and periodicals, Mary Robinson’s personal diaries, working files and detailed records of her career as a champion of human rights and women’s equality. Also included are numerous recordings and manuscripts from her time as President of Ireland. President Jim Browne of NUI Galway commented: “NUI Galway is delighted to be associated with this exciting development. Mary Robinson’s archive is a rich resource for scholars working in the fields of human rights and women’s leadership. Through the University’s internationally recognised Irish Centre for Human Rights and through our Global Women’s Studies Research Cluster, we will use this opportunity to draw in students from around the world to engage with this important archive.” The Mary Robinson Centre will provide a tremendous boost to the tourism economy of Mayo, Ballina, and the wider West of Ireland region. The Centre is expected to attract tourists from Ireland and abroad, members of the public, students and researchers interested in learning more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, and will contribute significantly to the local economy in the years ahead. Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Mr Cyril Burke, said: “I would like to thank the Robinson family for the very generous offer of making the complete archive of Mary Robinson available to the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina.” Mayo County Manager, Mr Peter Hynes, added: “Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council are delighted to be associated with the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina. The development presents a fantastic opportunity for Mayo to create a Centre of national and international importance in Mary Robinson’s home town of Ballina.” Mayor of Ballina, Mr Willie Nolan, commented “Ballina Town Council wholeheartedly supports the plan for the Centre and acknowledges the very generous offer from the Robinson family.”  -ends-

Monday, 17 September 2012

As part of Tawasol Student Mobility Project, which brings students and academics together for intensive inter-cultural and civic engagement learning opportunities, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway will host a study tour from Sunday, 23 September to Saturday, 6 October. During the two weeks 25 students will participate in a number of academic, community and cultural experiences. The students will meet with academic staff from the University and learn about how service learning is embedded in the curriculum. They will also have the opportunity to speak to Galway students to learn more about the impact of their experiences in community. In addition the students will work for two days in the Galway area to get first hand experiences of contemporary issues facing the community sector in Ireland. Community organisations such as COPE Galway, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, St Vincent de Paul, Deaf Hear and Jigsaw will all share their work with the students and provide real world experience to the students.  In addition the group will visit some cultural areas including the Burren and Cliffs of Moher.  This study tour is part of a three year EU funded Tempus collaboration in which CKI have played a major role in since 2009. The EU Tempus funded project includes five universities from Jordan and the Lebanon with four European university partners including NUI Galway, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria and the University of Roehampton in London. Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator and Academic Staff Developer with CKI at NUI Galway, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the students to get involved with local communities. We also anticipate that about ten NUI Galway students will also participate and engage with our visitors. The students are very interested in engaging with the community through service learning and volunteering.  They also will have experience of engaging with their own communities back home.  This experience is most relevant now as the Arab Spring unfolds.”  For more information on the Tawasol Project visit www.tawasol.org and on the CKI www.nuigalway.ie/cki -ENDS-   

Monday, 17 September 2012

NUI Galway’s Lero Research Centre and the Institute of Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy will hold an open forum on Agile-Lean Software Development. Lead by NUI Galway’s Dr Kieran Conboy and Ken Power of Cisco Systems, the forum will take place on Friday, 21 September from 9:30am-1pm. Software development organisations are increasingly using Agile and Lean approaches to product development in an effort to improve how they work and build stronger relationships with their customers. Many of the nuances and complexities of software development mean that while these techniques can bring value and result in significant productivity gains, there are still challenges that must be overcome. This open event is targetted at industry practitioners at all stages of their Agile and Lean adoption. The event will facilitate sharing of challenges, experiences and solutions to Agile and Lean adoption, and provides an opportunity to get practical answers to real software development problems. Dr Kieran Conboy, Senior Lecturer with the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy at NUI Galway said: “The forum will use a combination of hands-on exercises and an open format to foster communication and collaboration among participants. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss topics of interest and relevance to their own Agile and Lean adoption.” Attendance is free, but places are limited so registration is required. Companies or individuals actively involved in Agile and/or Lean software development should register your interest before Thursday, 20 September by emailing Lorraine Morgan at lorraine.morgan@nuigalway.ie or by phone at 091 492662. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Research output and academic reputation has seen NUI Galway secure the biggest boost among Irish universities in world rankings announced today. With only two Irish universities improving their world ranking, NUI Galway witnessed the greatest rise in position, increasing 11 places. NUI Galway is now ranked 287 in the QS World University Rankings 2012/2013. In the same rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) leapfrogged University of Cambridge and Harvard University, to become the number one university. “This is very good news for NUI Galway,” explains its President Dr Jim Browne. “We have experienced huge cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and the continued dedication of our staff at NUI Galway.” The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top 700 universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. It is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide. The rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” -ends- Dul Chun Cinn OÉ Gaillimh sna Ranguithe Idirnáisiúnta de bharr Aschur Taighde agus Cáil Acadúil De bharr aschur taighde agus cáil acadúil OÉ Gaillimh tá an borradh is mó tagtha faoin Ollscoil seo thar aon Ollscoil eile in Éirinn sna ranguithe domhanda a fógraíodh inniu. Ní dhearna ach dhá ollscoil in Éirinn dul chun cinn sna ranguithe domhanda, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh a rinne an dul chun cinn is mó, ag ardú 11 áit. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 287ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna Bliantúla an Domhain QS 2012/2013. Sna ranguithe céanna, chuaigh Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chun tosaigh ar Ollscoil Cambridge agus ar Ollscoil Harvard, chun an chéad áit a bhaint amach ar domhan. “Dea-scéala iontach é seo do OÉ Gaillimh,” a mhínigh an tUachtarán, an Dr Jim Browne. “Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn, agus tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid i gcónaí. D’ainneoin seo, tá ollscoil s’againne ag dul ó neart go neart sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is léiriú é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus tiomantas leanúnach na foirne in OÉ Gaillimh.” Tábla sraithe bliantúil iad Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain QS ina bhfuil na 700 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan agus tá sé ar cheann de na ranguithe is fearr aithne agus is mó a bhfuil cáil air ar domhan. Úsáideann mic léinn reatha agus mic léinn a bhfuil suim acu in ollscoil, lucht gairmiúil ollscoileanna agus rialtais ar fud an domhain na ranguithe seo. Tá na ranguithe bunaithe ar na ceithre phríomhthaca, taighde, teagasc, infhostaitheacht agus idirnáisiúnú. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú sna hollscoileanna chun a bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear na ranguithe chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a ligean isteach. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” -críoch-

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Can your mobile phone help you get fit? A former White House fitness expert will pose this question at the fifth annual Medicine 2.0 Congress which opens in Harvard Medical School, Boston, tomorrow. Ted Vickey is a PhD researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at National University of Ireland Galway. He will tell delegates that “understanding one’s social network may be one key to better health”. “Rather than surfing in the ocean, we are surfing the web. Rather than an outdoor game of tennis under the sun, we are inside our homes playing online virtual tennis on our Wii. People drive their cars to the gym and then take the escalator to the front door rather than walking and taking the stairs,” explains Vickey. “But what if technology could be the solution to our problem? What if our mobile phones could track our every step, provide healthy tips during the day, even persuade or motivate us when we need it most? This dream is now a reality all across the globe and it is called Mobile Health.” There are an estimated 13,000 health related apps in the iTunes, everything from monitoring blood pressure to tweeting body weight to tracking sleep cycles. As part of his PhD research, Vickey and his colleagues at National University of Ireland Galway have collected over 4.5 million tweets sent via mobile fitness applications from around the world. These were then categorized into different classifications, in an attempt to understand correlations between online social networking and effective exercise motivation and adherence. Studies have indicated that lack of motivation is a key factor in why a person does not exercise. “Mobile fitness apps not only allow for the sharing of information between user and health care providers, but also with a user’s friends. These self-monitoring units will help change the face of health care around the globe”, said Vickey. Vickey’s paper ‘Estimating the Long Term Effectiveness of Mobile Fitness Apps and Exercise Motivation’ has been shortlisted for the iMedicalApps-Medicine 2.0 mHealth Research Award. Established in 2003 by National University Ireland Galway and Science Foundation Ireland, DERI has now grown to become the world’s largest semantic web research institute. It engages with companies, from start-ups through to multinationals, to develop new web solutions. -ends-

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

NUI Galway graduates and friends will hold their annual All-Ireland golf outing in Mullingar Golf Club on Friday, 21 September. The event features a unique perpetual trophy, created by NUI Galway graduate John Coll, one of the country’s most renowned sculptors. RTÉ Presenter, event organiser and NUI Galway graduate Seán O’Rourke, said: “The All-Ireland golf outing is an ideal way to meet up with graduates old and new. It promises to be a wonderful event and we hope as many alumni and friends as possible join us in Mullingar.” The entry fee of €40 includes green fees, prizes and dinner that evening. Bookings and further details available from NUI Galway Alumni Office on 091 493750 or online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -ENDS-

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

As Connacht commence their second season in the Heineken European Rugby Cup, a new and exciting rugby development at U21 level in the province this year is the amalgamation of NUI Galway U21s with Corinthians RFC U21s. The combined team will play in the U21 All-Ireland League – South West Conference – which includes the cream of Munster Rugby clubs. A working group of officials, coaches, and players from both clubs have been working closely together over the last two seasons to develop this new combined squad. The aim is to enhance the standards, competitiveness, and participation in U21 Rugby in both clubs, and thereby help to promote the game in Galway and in Connacht. The team will field wearing a newly designed jersey that combine the traditional NUI Galway maroon and white with Corinthians' black, blue, and white hoops as well as featuring both club's crests. Promising players from the combined U21s team will have access to senior AIL rugby through the Corinthians senior squad. A challenging and enjoyable pre-season build up has been planned for the new panel, which will be coached by an experienced and talented coaching team that includes Paul Donnellan and former international underage rugby coach, Bartley Fannin. The squad will also benefit from Corinthians senior coaches including former club captain and stalwart Pat Cunningham and Head Coach, Dr Phil Pretorious. As well as national coach to Tonga at the World Cup, Dr Pretorious coached Stellenbosch University for several seasons as well as ‘Super 14’ side the Blue Bulls. As the final warm-up to the competitive season, the squad will play back-to-back ‘home and away’ fixtures against Dublin’s Railway Union U21s - home in Dangan on Saturday 22nd September and away in Dublin on Saturday 29th September under Railway Union's new floodlights. Commenting on the development, Honorary Treasurer of NUI Galway RFC Gearóid Ó Broin expressed confidence in its ability to deliver on the twin objectives of increasing rugby participation and playing standards in both clubs. ENDS

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Three NUI Galway engineers were honoured recently at the Bridge and Concrete Research in Ireland conference that was held in Dublin, from 6-7 September. This biennial symposium features leading researchers and practitioners from the island of Ireland with the focus on the latest developments and findings in the areas of bridge engineering and transport infrastructure, concrete technology, geotechnics, structural engineering and material science. This year, for the first time, a number of individuals received awards for their research contributions and there was considerable success for Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. The prestigious lifetime achievement award went to Eamonn Cannon, a recently retired Senior Lecturer from NUI Galway. Eamonn Cannon received the award for his significant and sustained contributions to research and teaching in concrete that stretch back over forty years.  Holding degrees from University College Dublin, Polytecnico di Milano and Imperial College London, Eamonn Cannon has published widely on many aspects of concrete research. Dr Jamie Goggins received the young researcher award and this category was for researchers at an early stage in their careers (under the age of 35). Dr Goggins received the award for the quality of his research publications and for his growing international reputation for the research in earthquake engineering, computational mechanics, sustainable construction technologies, sustainable energy and life cycle assessment. The final award for NUI Galway went to Gerard O’Reilly for the best paper by a graduate student at the conference. Gerard works under the supervision of Dr Goggins and the title of his presentation was ‘The development of a novel self-centering concentrically braced frame system for deployment in seismically active regions’.  There was strong competition for this award with over 50 graduate student presentations at the conference. Gerard O’Reilly has recently returned from an exchange visit to the University of California. “It is noteworthy that the three awards span the spectrum from a lifetime of achievement to a graduate engineer who is starting out on his research career”, commented Dr Piaras Ó hEachteirn, Head of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway. “The awards reflect well on the level and excellence of the research at NUI Galway and particularly in the area of concrete research.” ENDS

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sea2Sky returns again The whole of Europe will be captivated by science on Friday, 28 September, as 320 cities celebrate European Researchers’ Night. Festivities in Ireland this year will be once again led by NUI Galway, with events planned throughout the day to showcase science on the grandest of scales. The free, fun, family event will see hundreds of researchers share their work with the public. Thousands are expected to visit the Promenade in Salthill, Galway on the night, to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know the researchers. After a very successful event in 2011, NUI Galway again participate under the theme Sea2Sky, with partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, along with a new partner, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. The event will be themed around marine science, atmospherics and astronomy. “Interest in science is riding high and making headlines around the world. We have been captivated by news from the Large Hadron Collier in Geneva, images from NASA's mission on Mars, and video from the journey to the deepest point of the ocean by Hollywood’s James Cameron,” explains lecturer in physics and organiser of the event, NUI Galway’s Dr Andy Shearer. This year, Sea2Sky is linking up with the Galway Science Forum’s exhibition about the work of CERN – Accelerating Science. This exhibition, sponsored by Boston Scientific in partnership with NUI Galway, will show how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can help us understand fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Last year, some 10,000 people came to the event, and the plan is for an even bigger event this year, with highlights including the CERN exhibit, 3D tours of the universe and tours of the aquarium. The Galway Bay Hotel, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria will be the three venues in Salthill Galway, with events also taking place in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. “Irish researchers are involved in some huge European research projects, and this is an opportunity to share some of the most exciting elements with the public”, added Dr Shearer. “At third-level, we have seen a surge in applications for science related courses and this event will be a real draw for anyone tempted by a career in science and research.” -ends- Gaillimh i gCeannas ar Ócáid Taighde na hEorpa in Éirinn Beidh an Eoraip ar fad faoi dhraíocht ag an eolaíocht an 28 Meán Fómhair, nuair a bheidh 320 cathair ag ceiliúradh Oíche Eorpach na dTaighdeoirí. Beidh OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar imeachtaí na hÉireann arís i mbliana agus tá imeachtaí eagraithe i rith an lae chun ardán ar scála ollmhór a thabhairt don eolaíocht. Ócáid shaor in aisce agus spraíúil don teaghlach a bheidh ann ina roinnfidh na céadta taighdeoirí a gcuid oibre leis an bpobal. Táthar ag súil go dtabharfaidh na mílte cuairt ar an bPromanád i mBóthar na Trá, Gaillimh ar an oíche chun páirt a ghlacadh i dturgnaimh, i gcomórtais agus i dtráth na gceisteanna, taispeántais agus cleachtaí a fheiceáil, smaointe a mhalartú agus aithne a chur ar na taighdeoirí. D’éirigh thar barr leis an ócáid in 2011, agus beidh an téama céanna ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i mbliana, Sea2Sky, i gcomhpháirt le Foras na Mara agus Atlantaquaria na Gaillimhe, mar aon le comhpháirtí nua i mbliana, Réadlann Chaisleán na Dúcharraige CIT i gCorcaigh. Beidh an ócáid dírithe ar réimse na mara, an aerthormáin agus na réalteolaíochta. “Tá borradh ag teacht faoin tsuim san eolaíocht agus í ar thús cadhnaíochta ar fud an domhain. Táimid faoi dhraíocht ag an scéala ón Imbhuailteoir Mór Hadróinarge  sa Ghinéiv, ag íomhánna ó mhisean NASA ar Mhars, agus ag físeán ón turas chuig an bpointe is ísle faoin bhfarraige a thug James Cameron as Hollywood,” a mhíníonn léachtóir amháin le fisic agus duine de lucht eagraithe na hócáide, an Dr Andy Shearer in OÉ Gaillimh. I mbliana, beidh Sea2Sky i gcomhpháirtíocht le taispeántas Fhóram Eolaíochta na Gaillimhe maidir le hobair CERN – Accelerating Science. Léireoidh an taispeántas seo, atá urraithe ag Boston Scientific i gcomhar le OÉ Gaillimh, an chaoi a bhféadfadh Imbhuailteoir Mór Hadróinarge CERN cuidiú linn tuiscint a fháil ar na buncheisteanna faoi bhunús na cruinne. Anuraidh, d’fhreastail thart ar 10,000 duine ar an ócáid, agus táthar ag súil le níos mó ná sin i mbliana, idir taispeántas CERN, turais 3D na cruinne agus turais den uisceadán. Is in Óstán Chuan na Gaillimhe, Leisureland agus Atlantaquaria na Gaillimhe a bheidh na himeachtaí ar siúl i mBóthar na Trá agus beidh imeachtaí eile ar siúl i Réadlann Chaisleán na Dúcharraige, CIT i gCorcaigh. “Tá taighdeoirí Éireannacha bainteach le tograí móra taighde san Eoraip agus deis í seo le cuid den eolas is suimiúla a roinnt leis an bpobal”, a deir an Dr Shearer. “Ag an tríú leibhéal, tá borradh tagtha faoi iarratais ar chúrsaí eolaíochta agus meallfaidh an ócáid seo duine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu i ngairm na heolaíochta agus na taighde”. -críoch-

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The universities of Ireland, North and South, today conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies. The degree was conferred to give public honour and thanks to Chuck Feeney for his incredible support of the Irish universities over the past twenty years. It was also conferred to convey to the people of Ireland just how radical and transformative this continued support has been. This is the first time that the universities on the island of Ireland have come together to confer their highest award on an individual. Since 1989, The Atlantic Philanthropies have donated almost €800 million to Irish universities, North and South. Introducing Mr Feeney, Dr Patrick Fottrell, Chair, Science Foundation Ireland, said that ‘Chuck strongly advocated a “think big”, ambitious approach to third level research funding. He wanted to transform rather that “tinker at the edges” with the Irish research landscape’. ‘Thus, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) was launched in 1998 by the Higher Education Authority..., Atlantic funded 50% of the first cycle which was vital to kickstart the Programme. Levels of funding in the 100s of million euro which had been available in other competitive countries for many years, now became available in Ireland for the first time. Five cycles of the Programme have now been completed with an investment of 1.22 billion euro which includes government and private matching funds. The programme has provided key physical facilities and personnel for research in the humanities, sciences, engineering, technology and the social sciences including business and law’. Outlining Chuck Feeney’s contribution to the universities of Northern Ireland, Dr Fottrell referred to the joint initiative developed between the Department of Employment and Learning and Atlantic Philanthropies called The Support Programme for University Research (SPUR). The aim of this Programme was to support and strengthen the research capacity of both universities enabling them to increase the number of Research Centres capable of being assessed as being of the highest world quality in the Research Assessment Exercise which is a periodic assessment by the UK Government of the quality of research in third level institutions’. Dr Fottrell emphasised the impact the additional resources provided by Atlantic have had on raising the status of Irish research internationally. ‘For example’, he said, ‘independent ratings agencies now rank the quality of research in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland in the top 20 in the world. About ten years ago the Republic of Ireland was 40th in the world. Also, in strategically important areas of food and life science, rankings as high as the top three in the world have been attained. These are remarkable achievements’. Dr Fottrell also acknowledged the support of the Irish Government for continued commitment to research funding ‘especially in our recent difficult economic times’. He recognised the roles of the Higher Education Authority and the Departments of Education and Skills as well as Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.   The degree was conferred jointly on behalf of their respective universities by: Professor Brian Mac Craith, President, Dublin City University Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway Professor Philip Nolan, President, NUI, Maynooth Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor, National University of Ireland, Dr Michael Murphy, President, University College Cork Dr Hugh Brady, President, University College Dublin Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Belfast Professor Don Barry, President, University of Limerick Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster Dr Mary Robinson, Chancellor, University of Dublin. The Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD and the Minister for Education & Skills Mr Ruairí Quinn TD were guests of honour at the ceremony. Link to event at Dublin Castle: http://www.nui.ie/news/2012/post_ChuckFeeney_HonCon.asp   -Ends-  

Monday, 10 September 2012

Dr Eric Jensen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, will present a lunchtime seminar entitled Making the Most of Festivals at NUI Galway. Hosted by the Community Knowledge Imitative (CKI) at the University, the seminar will take place on Friday, 14 September from 12.30-2.30pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. Many universities are involved in festivals, including organising their own festivals, participating in other festivals, and students working with organisations at music festivals and creating their own. These festivals can be an effective opportunity to engage with the public, making the most of the knowledge and talents of staff and students. Dr Eric Jensen will share his research findings on successful student engagement in festivals as well as tools to measure the impact of a festival. There are a number of challenges to evaluating festival impacts, and this seminar will discuss creative solutions to these challenges. This seminar will be based on discussion and will offer a space to share experiences and opportunities for reflection and development. Holding a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, Dr Eric Jensen teaches advanced modules on the practice of social research, statistics, surveys and science engagement. He is a widely published expert in the evaluation of learning and engagement activities in non-formal settings. Making the Most of Festivals will appeal to festival organisers, members of the public who contribute to and run festivals, marketing and tourism specialists and student volunteers. Lunch will be served so those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by emailing alive@nuigalway.ie to ensure adequate catering. -ENDS-

Monday, 10 September 2012

International medical student selection expert Dr Jon Dowell, Reader of Medicine, University of Dundee will undertake a two-day visit to Galway, hosted by the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, from 27-28 September. During his visit Dr Dowell will demonstrate how the University of Dundee, one of the top ranked medical schools in the UK, selects its medical students. Dr Dowell has led the use of the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), originally developed by McMaster University in Canada, which is an interview format that uses many short independent assessments, typically in a timed circuit, to obtain an aggregate score of each candidate’s soft skills. This will be the first time that the MMI has been held in the Republic of Ireland. Dr Dowell said: “Medical school selection is an important but imprecise art. Increasing evidence is emerging and the MMI is the new kid on the block. So it is an exciting time to be working in this field. I am delighted to be visiting NUI Galway which has developed a very promising computer-based scoring system and is initiating its own research in this area.” As part of his visit Dr Dowell will also deliver a lecture entitled “Achievement, Aptitude and Interviews. Where are we with Medical School Selection these days?” on Friday, 28 September at NUI Galway. Dr Maureen Kelly, Lecturer at NUI Galway and event organiser, said: “Medical student selection is a highly emotive topic. The best way to make decisions regarding the introduction and use of medical student selection tools is to continually examine the evidence which supports their use and to pilot the use of novel tools. Our new collaboration with Dundee will help inform the debate on medical student selection in Ireland.” -ENDS-

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Leading researchers from across Europe will discuss findings from the latest research into aspects of gender and employment at a conference in NUI Galway from 6-7 September. The conference, jointly hosted by the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway, highlights the advantages of analysing gender and work issues across an individual’s entire life time. Entitled ‘Gender and Employment in Europe across the Lifecourse’, the event is an interim conference of Research Network 14 of the European Sociological Association (ESA). Some of the key issues to be discussed include: The gendered impact of recession and austerity budgets on pensions, employment and poverty. An exploration of the relationship between care provision and labour force participation. The implications of extending working life. In the current economic environment, the conference aims to contribute to policy debates on the restructuring of the welfare state and provide rich empirical evidence on the consequences of such restructuring. The plenary address will be given by Professor Nicky le Feuvre, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Professor le Feuvre is currently leading several research projects on gender and the labour market, with a particular focus on the transformation of gender inequalities from a comparative European perspective. She has published widely on the feminization of a number of occupations (doctors, lawyers, academics, domestic workers) in the UK and France and is currently working on the employment experiences of male and female seniors (50 years+) in Switzerland.  The conference will take place in CA110 in the JE Cairnes Building, NUI Galway. The event is supported by the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, Global Women’s Studies, the School of Political Science and Sociology, Gender Arc and the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. -ends-

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

NUI Galway’s Discipline of Spanish will run a series of Mexican themed performances and talks on Saturday, 8 September as part of the San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival in Clifden. From 2-4pm members of the public will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in talks such as: An Introduction to the Mexican Revolution and Art and the Revolution by Dr Lorraine Kelly; The Novelist Juan Rulfo and the Mexican Revolution by Professor Bill Richardson; and a Performance of some Corridos, Songs from the Revolution by Yolanda Reyes and Ivan Kenny. At 5pm, there will be a special screening of the famous Mexican film El Violin, introduced by Ivan Kenny. Author and poet, Dr Michael Hogan will present a talk on The San Patricios Batallion: the Irish Soliders of Mexico at 2pm on Sunday, 9 September. NUI Galway’s Moore Institute, in collaboration with the Discipline of Spanish and the Mexican Embassy, are giving the public another opportunity to listen to Dr Hogan’s talk. Taking place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room on Monday, 10 September, at 4pm, the talk will be followed by a launch of Dr Hogan’s new book, The Irish Soliders of Mexico. Running from 7-12 September the five-day San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival celebrates the life of John Riley of Clifden, the leader of the San Patricios Battalion. Professor Bill Richardson, Head of Spanish at NUI Galway, emphasised the unique quality of this link between Mexico and the West of Ireland: “The story of John Riley and his comrades in the San Patricios Batallion is one of a fascinating adventure and reflects the courage and commitment of those Irish people who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom in an adopted land, thousands of miles from their home. Students and staff in Spanish are looking forward with great excitement to Dr Hogan’s lecture and to our involvement in this festival.” For more details on the San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival visit www.clifden2012.org. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

NUI Galway’s eleventh annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 26 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair will be officially opened by Galway City Mayor, Councillor Terry O'Flaherty. Over 80 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities in Galway. The Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway, the culmination of which will coincide with the National Day of Volunteering on Friday, 1 October. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “The student volunteering programme ALIVE has been supporting and enabling students to engage in the Galway city community for ten years and we extend a thank you to our community partners which have hosted students through hundreds of meaningful volunteering opportunities. Students are actively seeking volunteering prospects with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: RehabCare, Gorta, Goal, COPE Galway, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Age Action, Irish Wheelchair Association, Blue Tea Pot, Child of Haiti and Music for Galway. Ms Tansey added: “We are delighted to not only welcome community organisations to highlight their work and opportunities for volunteers but also to welcome members of the public onto campus.” ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Through this programme students can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 7,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. To book a stand or for further information, please contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email alive@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 3 September 2012

CERN, the world's leading laboratory for particle physics will bring ‘Accelerating Science’, its flagship travelling exhibition exclusively to Galway this month in partnership with the Galway Science & Technology Forum and sponsored by Boston Scientific. NUI Galway and GMIT with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland are also participating in this exciting Exhibition by providing physics experts for Facilitated Tours. The announcement was made at Boston Scientific Galway, the Exhibition’s sponsor, today (Monday, 3 September). This unique Scientific Exhibition is coming exclusively to Galway from CERN, Geneva, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for fundamental physics and scientific research. The exhibition will open from 16 September to 2 November at Leisureland, Salthill, Galway and will take visitors on an extraordinary journey on which they will learn about the History of the Universe, activate a model of the Large Hadron Collider, understand how a particle detector works and see what happens when particles collide at almost the speed of light!  ‘Accelerating Science’ is suitable primarily for students aged between 11 and 18 years. The exhibition is available exclusively for Secondary School tours from Monday to Friday and is open to the public at weekends and during midterm break. Teachers and members of the public are encouraged to prebook their place on www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience. Commenting at the announcement Mike O’Flynn, Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, Boston Scientific Galway said: “We’re delighted to support this unique exhibition. It’s essential for our future success that we encourage the next generation to take up science, technology and maths-based subjects at school.  This exhibition is aimed at doing just that - inspiring budding young scientists and engineers of tomorrow to make a big bang with their career.” Speaking from CERN, Geneva Dr Rolf Landua, Head of Education and Public Outreach said:  “The first time that a CERN Exhibition comes to Ireland just happens to be when the elusive Higgs Boson might have been discovered. The Exhibition is particularly suited for school students from 11-18 years, their teachers and their parents. It shows how CERN’s researchers try to find out more about the laws of Nature, the origin of the Universe, the LHC and the huge particle detectors. I am looking forward to attending the official opening of the CERN Exhibition on Sunday, 16 September at Leisureland, Galway.” Welcoming the arrival of CERN’s “Accelerating Science” to Galway Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway added: “It is a real coup that Ireland is hosting the CERN Exhibition in Galway. The Exhibition will help us build on the current groundswell of interest in science and the public understanding of the role physics plays in our everyday lives. Physics is the fundamental science which helps us to understand naturally occurring phenomena in the world around us and enables Irish Physicists to apply those phenomena to benefit mankind. Many technologies, including MRI scanners and sat-nav systems, owe their existence to fundamental physics research. Indeed, the fundamental laws of physics find application in almost every branch of science, engineering and technology.” Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Forum and coordinator of the ‘Accelerating Science’ Exhibition, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this fantastic exhibition to Galway. This is a wonderful opportunity for young students to engage with science in a fun and interactive way; the exhibition will inform students about the Higgs Boson and the Big Bang Theory. This is a unique opportunity for all second level students, their teachers and indeed their parents to visit this truly exciting Exhibition from CERN, here in Galway over a seven week period.” CERN’s flagship Exhibition will educate those curious about the origins of our universe, the nature of the particles from which we are all made and the power of fundamental science. Setup in five modules, ‘Accelerating Science’ takes the visitor through the early-21st-century scientific adventure and discover how fundamental science has changed the world, as we know it.  Starting with the Big Bang, which explores the world’s largest scientific experiment, the particles, the mysteries of the universe and the LHC’s (Large Hadron Colliders) exploration of matter guide. For school bookings visit www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience or for general enquiries contact galwayscience.events@gmail.com or visit www.galwayscience.ie Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 August 2012

NUI Galway has teamed up with Bank of Ireland to introduce a new College Finance Loan to students and their parents. College Finance is an easy and affordable way for parents/guardians to cover the cost of University tuition from September. A new loan scheme from Bank of Ireland, College Finance enables parents/guardians of full-time undergraduate students to borrow the cost of the Student Contribution Charge, which is currently €2,250 and applies to all Undergraduate Degree courses. The loan is offered at a preferred rate for the length of the course, for up to five years. Once the course is completed the standard Graduate loan interest rate applies and the loan is repaid over three years. All applications must be received by the Bank of Ireland by 31st October 2012. The College Finance scheme is designed to give parents/guardians and students peace of mind as the full loan, for the duration of the course, is approved up front. NUI Galway is one of 25 Higher Education Institutions participating in the new Loan scheme, and only parents/guardians of students attending participating institutions are eligible to apply. Commenting on the Loan scheme, President Jim Browne of NUI Galway, said: “The cost of Third Level education has risen steadily over the last four years and, in the current difficult economic climate, we are aware that many parents and students are increasingly struggling to make ends meet. The Bank of Ireland College Finance Scheme is a welcome development which will help families to support their child’s education, ensuring that access to Higher Education remains open to as many students as possible.” Donal Flynn, Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland, said: “Bank of Ireland is proud to be able to deliver meaningful products and services to Ireland’s students and graduates. We are very conscious that in the current economic climate Ireland’s future generation of employees need initiatives such as this to enable them upskill for a changed environment. We look forward to working with NUI Galway to provide finance to enhance their skills and their prospects for their future careers.” Ends

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

NUI Galway Lecturer in Geography, Dr John Morrissey, is among fifteen higher education staff representing six different institutions recognised as exemplifying excellence in teaching at the annual National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) awards. The award presentations will take place at a special ceremony in Dublin in September. Now in its fifth year, the NAIRTL awards recognise higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning. This year’s winners are no exception and were chosen from thirty-one detailed submissions from fourteen different Higher Education Institutions across Ireland. The 2012 winners represent disciplines as diverse as Business, Chemistry, Geography, the Humanities, Paediatrics, and Physical Sciences, and were nominated by senior staff in their institution to go forward for the highly competitive award. Dr Morrissey is a Lecturer in Geography and Director of the MA in Environment, Society and Development at NUI Galway. His research interests are in geopolitics and post-conflict development, which he has published on widely. He was an IRCHSS Fellow in 2007/2008. His teaching is driven by a passion for engaging his students and to this end he is a keen advocate of both field-based learning and technology-enhanced learning. In 2011, Dr Morrissey won NUI Galway’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2012 he completed an MA in Academic Practice at NUI Galway. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is great news that Dr Morrissey has been recognised by NAIRTL as an exemplary teacher. NUI Galway has a successful record at the NAIRTL awards, with awards being presented to our lecturers each year since the formation of NAIRTL. This is a huge achievement and a testament to the quality of nominations put forward by this University. Dr Morrissey was a recipient of our internal awards for teaching excellence in 2010-11.  This scheme recognises the outstanding efforts academic staff make to ensure NUI Galway students receive the highest quality learning experience. We look forward to continued collaboration with NAIRTL and to further success in the national awards scheme in 2013.” NAIRTL was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. Previous recipients of the National Award for Excellence in Teaching include senior and junior staff members from thirteen different Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The universities of Ireland*, North and South, will jointly confer an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. "Chuck" Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies on 6 September next. This is the first time such an honour will have been conferred jointly by all the Universities on the island of Ireland.  The universities are coming together to honour Chuck Feeney’s remarkable contribution to Irish society, and in particular to the universities.  Chuck Feeney’s philanthropic purpose in Ireland has been to create a brighter future and a better society for the people of Ireland. He believes that one way to achieve this is to enable Ireland to become a full participant in the knowledge society and to compete in the knowledge economy. The Atlantic Philanthropies, which he founded in 1982, identified Irish universities, which of their nature are devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the generation of new knowledge, as institutions central to this purpose. Since 1990, Atlantic has donated nearly €770 million to Irish universities, North and South.  The physical manifestations of this philanthropy can be seen today most notably in the transformational research infrastructure which has been created on university campuses. This is providing a new generation of researchers with facilities their predecessors could only dream about. Human capital development in the universities had been supported through endowed chairs, scholarships and other forms of student support. University projects have also included support for new libraries and student on-campus housing and projects in the fields of health and ageing. In the longer term, the impact of the funding provided by Atlantic can be expected to be even more significant.  The Atlantic Philanthropies (http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org) is a limited life foundation. It has announced that it will complete its grantmaking in 2016.  The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., and Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., will attend the conferring ceremony.  NUI is co-ordinating the special ceremony which will take place in Dublin Castle.   -ENDS- * The Universities of Ireland: Dublin City University; National University of Ireland; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; University of Ulster.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a Special Entrance Maths Examination which will give students a second chance to pursue careers in Engineering and IT. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 22 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate Engineering or IT Degree course at NUI Galway but have not met the Leaving Cert maths requirement. In advance of this exam NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run for five days, from Thursday, 16 August to Tuesday, 21 August (including Saturday). In addition to preparing students for the Special Entrance Examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to Engineering and will highlight the applicability of mathematics to some illustrative engineering examples. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam; this will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. For more than 20 years, NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade in Leaving Cert mathematics. Those who took either higher level or ordinary level maths in the Leaving Cert can apply for the exam. Students who pass this special entrance examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. Dr Edward Jones, Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The Engineering and Informatics programmes at NUI Galway foster the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and mathematical ability is one of the fundamental tools of the trade. Every year, we have a number of students who haven’t achieved the necessary results in Leaving Cert maths taking advantage of our Special Entrance Maths Examination to demonstrate that they have the necessary ability in this area. Many of these students are high achievers who are ideally suited to engineering, and they go on to graduate and pursue successful careers because they were given the second chance which this Special Entrance Exam represents. The preparatory course in advance of the exam has also proved very popular with students taking the entrance exam.” The new four-story Engineering Building at NUI Galway, opened in July 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff with its 400 rooms. The 14,250 sqm building is supporting an emerging generation of engineers engaged in a new wave of technologies, and embracing innovation and entrepreneurship. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway offers a broad range of courses across the major engineering and informatics disciplines, including recently-introduced courses such as Energy Systems Engineering, which is designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector, and Sports and Exercise Engineering, designed to develop the skills and expertise to design sports and exercise equipment of the future. NUI Galway also offers students an 'undenominated' entry route to Engineering which allows them to delay their choice of final discipline until the end of their first year of study. To apply for the Special Maths Examination, or for further information, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. The deadline for applications for the examination is Friday, 17 August and photo ID will be required on the day of the exam. Those interested in the preparatory maths course and the examination should call 091 492101 or email engineeringandinformatics@nuigalway.ie . -ENDS-   Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh a fhógairt go mbeidh an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hInnealtóireachta agus na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, ar bun arís i mbliana. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san Innealtóireacht nó sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc atá riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ar feadh cúig lá ó Déardaoin, an 16 Lúnasa go dtí Dé Máirt, an 21 Lúnasa (Dé Sathairn san áireamh). Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san Innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint as an matamaitic i samplaí innealtóireachta. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag na daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice; déanfar seo trí thabhairt faoi fhadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta a réiteach. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nach bhfuil an grád riachtanach bainte amach acu sa pháipéar matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht. Féadfaidh daoine a rinne an páipéar gnáthleibhéil nó an páipéar ardleibhéil Matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú. Má fhaigheann daltaí pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta a Dó má bhíonn na pointí cuí aige/aici. Dúirt an Dr Edward Jones, Leas-Déan Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice: “Ar na cláir Innealtóireachta agus Ionformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh cuirtear le scileanna anailíseacha agus le scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach. Ceann de na huirlisí is bunúsaí sa cheird seo cumas sa mhatamaitic. Gach bliain, bíonn roinnt daltaí againn nach bhfaigheann na torthaí riachtanacha sa mhatamaitic san Ardteistiméireacht agus tugann siad faoin Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice chun a léiriú go bhfuil an cumas riachtanach acu sa réimse sin. Is daltaí uaillmhianacha go leor de na daltaí seo agus feileann an innealtóireacht go mór dóibh. Éiríonn leo céim a bhaint amach agus slí bheatha a chothú dóibh féin mar go bhfaigheann siad an dara deis leis an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála seo. Bíonn an-tóir ag daltaí a thugann faoin scrúdú iontrála ar an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin roimh ré chomh maith.” Tá 1,110 mac léinn agus 110 comhalta foirne mar aon le 400 seomra san Fhoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta ceithre stór, a d’oscail an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, i mí Iúil 2011. Tá an foirgneamh 14,250 méadar cearnach ina chnámh taca ag glúin nua innealtóirí a rachaidh i ngleic le teicneolaíochtaí nua agus a thabharfaidh faoin nuálaíocht agus faoin bhfiontraíocht. Is uirlis teagaisc ann féin an foirgneamh mar gur fágadh teicnící tógála gan chumhdach ann agus úsáideadh an iliomad modhanna tógála éiceolaíocha ann. Tá réimse leathan cúrsaí sna príomhdhisciplíní innealtóireachta agus ionformaitice á dtairiscint ag Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: cúrsaí amhail Innealtóireacht Chórais Fuinnimh a bunaíodh mar gheall ar an éileamh atá ar innealtóirí gairmiúla in earnáil an fhuinnimh agus Innealtóireacht Spóirt agus Aclaíochta, a bunaíodh le scileanna agus saineolas a fhorbairt le trealamh spóirt agus aclaíochta na todhchaí a dhearadh. Tá cúrsa ‘neamhainmnithe’ san Innealtóireacht ar fáil do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith ionas go mbeidh na mic léinn in ann a rogha disciplín a phiocadh ag deireadh na chéad bhliana. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice, nó chun eolas breise a fháil féach http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Is é spriocdháta na n-iarratas Dé hAoine, an 17 Lúnasa agus teastóidh cárta aitheantais a bhfuil grianghraf díot air ag an scrúdú. Ba chóir do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim aige/aici sa chúrsa ullmhúcháin agus sa scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 492101 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig engineeringandinformatics@nuigalway.ie . -CRÍOCH-  

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

NUI Galway will once again open its dedicated First Year Student Hotline on Wednesday, 15 August. Now in its third year the hotline will be open to students, their parents and their advisers and will run until Friday, 28 September, 2012. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,200 new students in September, a team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 18 and 25 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 8 and 9 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 10, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says: “For every young person, the transition from second-level to third-level education represents a significant life-change, and whilst this is an exciting time, navigating your way through the change can sometimes be daunting. The First Year Student Hotline has been set up therefore to provide information, guidance and support to all individuals involved in the transition process and we invite students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -ENDS- Beolíne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh don Tríú Bliain as a chéile Beidh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar fáil arís i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh ó Dé Céadaoin, an 15 Lúnasa ar aghaidh. Don tríú bliain as a chéile, beidh mic léinn, a dtuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe in ann glaoch ar an mbeolíne go dtí Dé hAoine, an 28 Meán Fómhair 2012. Bunaíodh an tionscnamh seo, a seoladh i samhradh na bliana 2010 agus arbh é an chéad cheann dá leithéid é san earnáil seo, le cabhrú le mic léinn na chéad bhliana an t-aistriú a dhéanamh chuig an oideachas tríú leibhéal. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag dúil go mbeidh breis agus 3,200 mac léinn nua ag tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair, agus, dá bhrí sin, beidh foireann de mhic léinn i mbun na beolíne ó Luan go hAoine, 9am - 6pm, agus Dé Sathairn, an 18 agus an 25 Lúnasa, 10am - 1pm. Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil. Beidh an bheolíne ar oscailt i rith thréimhse na seisiún eolais do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana, an 8 agus an 9 Meán Fómhair, agus beidh an líne ag feidhmiú ar feadh coicíse i ndiaidh an dáta a gcuirfear tús leis na léachtaí, an 10 Meán Fómhair. Beifear in ann a rá le mic léinn gur cheart dóibh glao a chur ar an mbeolíne má bhíonn ceist ar bith acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina saol in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh foireann na beolíne seirbhís éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh sin a ghlaonn ar an líne agus meastar go mbeifear ag plé le hábhair go leor a bhíonn ag déanamh tinnis do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana. Meastar go mbeidh ceisteanna á gcur faoi na hábhair seo a leanas, i measc ábhair eile: na pointí atá riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; tairiscintí sa chéad bhabhta; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín. Tabharfar láithreán gréasáin ar leith atá ann do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana cothrom le dáta gach lá chomh maith. Beidh eolas le fáil ann faoi na ceisteanna a bhí ag na daoine a ghlaoigh ar an mbeolíne nua. Is tairseach eolais ar leith a bheidh sa láithreán gréasáin agus beidh sé de chuspóir aige cuid den cheo a bhaineann leis an gcéad chúpla seachtain ar an ollscoil a scaipeadh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is athrú mór saoil an t-aistriú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal do gach duine óg agus cé gur tréimhse iontach an tréimhse sin dóibh d’fhéadfadh sí a bheith crua chomh maith. Bunaíodh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana chun eolas, treoir agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do gach duine bainteach leis an athrú saoil seo agus tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999 nó dul go dtí http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -CRÍOCH-

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Agreement confirms global potential for biomaterial based research at NUI Galway The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading Chinese research institute the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine (TJAB) and a major Chinese medical technology company China Nucleon Medical Technology Group (CNPK). The official signing ceremony will take place at the Irish Embassy in Beijing today (Tuesday, 14 August) and will be attended by Minister for Health Dr James Reilly TD, the Irish Ambassador to China, Mr Declan Kelleher and President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne. TJAB is a new, state-of-the-art, 173 million dollar research facility in Northern China while CNPK is a pioneer in medical imaging for the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and has extensive facilities for clinical trialling and preclinical drug development throughout China. The memorandum is designed to encourage a mutually beneficial relationship which will facilitate the exchange of researchers, the exchange of academic information and the development of collaborative research projects. For the first project under this new agreement, NFB will be collaborating with its Chinese partners to develop a cutting edge polymer for cancer treatment. Dr Wenxin Wang, Principal Investigator at NFB, said: “This agreement has huge potential both for the development of new techniques and treatments and for the commercialisation and translation of existing technologies to the clinical environment. China is currently emerging as a major player in biomedical research, and establishing these relationships now will pay ever-increasing dividends in the future. NFB is well poised to engage opportunities in China.” The NFB is a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster which has established a critical mass of biomaterials research in Ireland. Speaking of the singing of the Memoranda of Understanding in China, President Browne said: “Partnerships such as the one we sign today point to Ireland’s global strength in the Biomedical Sector and the importance of creating linkages which will be of mutual benefit to industry and enterprise both in Ireland and in China.  It also highlights the global opportunities which exist for Irish universities and research organisations.  NUI Galway is very pleased to see our partnerships in China grow and flourish in this way.   We must remember that the work of this partnership in commercial research will ultimately benefit countless cancer patients and sufferers.  Their future health depends on new and innovative treatments – such as those that will be addressed by this technology.”  Other existing partnerships between NUI Galway and Chinese institutes include collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an which were signed as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing earlier this year led by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Minister Richard Bruton TD. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) based at NUI Galway signed collaborative agreements with the Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Bio-X Institutes and the Tangdu Neurosurgery & Neurology Hospital, research institutes based in two leading Chinese Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI is Ireland’s leading research institute in the area of regenerative medicine and stem cell research. ENDS

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The research labs of Professor Charles Spillane (Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, NUI Galway) and Professor Michael J Kerin (National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Galway) have discovered a new genetic control system implicated in breast cancer. Their research findings have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which is considered the 7th most important scientific journal worldwide by the Eigenfactor ranking system. Professor Kerin highlighted that “Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer worldwide in women and while treatments and outcome are improving there is a compelling need for continued research into its cause and treatment. About 2700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year. Advances in cancer biosciences research provide the basis for earlier diagnosis and new treatment regimes for breast cancer.” Both research labs are collaborating to investigate a new class of genes called microRNAs which produce small RNA molecules that can switch off other genes in normal and cancer cells.  Professor Spillane indicated that “There are over 1500 different types of these small microRNA genes identified so far in human cells and it is a major scientific challenge for us to understand which ones can make the difference between a normal and a cancer cell”. Working closely with Professor Spillane and Professor Kerin, molecular biologist Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu made the discovery that a particular microRNA gene called miR-9 acts to suppress tumour growth of breast cancer cells. In the project, the team also identified a new gene involved in breast cancer called MTHFD2 whose levels are kept down by the small RNA miR-9. However, when miR-9 levels go down in a cancer cell, levels of MTHFD2 go up and promote cancer cell development. Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu indicated that “Our findings are important as they show that high levels of miR-9 in cancer cells slows down tumour cell growth by down-regulating cancer promoting genes (oncogenes) such as MTHFD2. Measuring the levels of miR-9 and MTHFD2 in patient samples holds promise for use in the clinic as a novel biomarker in breast cancer diagnostics.” The research was funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the Health Research Board and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) in Galway. ENDS

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Liverpool football legend, Ian Rush, was in Galway this week to launch the Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp, hosted by NUI Galway. Throughout the Summer Camp children aged between 5 and 16 will received top class soccer skills advice and a taste of the Premier League at the Liverpool Football Academy in the University’s sports grounds in Dangan.  Speaking at the launch Ian Rush said: “At Liverpool FC we pride ourselves on producing world class players and delivering exciting football to our fans. We take time to develop our younger players to ensure that they reach their full potential by guiding them through extensive training programmes and nurturing their development. As a result we have produced some world-class players over the years, which is something we’re really proud of. We apply the same principles to all age groups, including those who attend our Soccer School programmes. Liverpool FC International Football Academies run throughout the UK and are growing internationally too. So no matter where in the world you take a course, you’ll train and be coached in exactly the same way – The Liverpool Way.” Kathy Hynes, Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway is delighted to welcome the Liverpool FC official academy coaches to the University.  This is a wonderful event for everyone involved and we are delighted to provide our facilities to Liverpool FC and extending the University reach through sport into our local community.” This Academy school is held in association with the charity, Happy Children, which aims to improve the life of children in need. Brian Gallagher, from the charity Happy Children who coordinates all the soccer schools activity in Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the football academy to Galway as part of our expansion into all parts of Ireland with kids of all abilities, boys and girls, all welcome.” For more information on these soccer schools, please see www.liverpoolfc.tv/soccerschools. -ENDS-